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Secret Language of Color: Science, Nature, History, Culture, Beauty of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet

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In this beautiful and thorough investigation, The Secret Language of Color celebrates and illuminates the countless ways in which color colors our world. Why is the sky blue, the grass green, a rose red? Most of us have no idea how to answer these questions, nor are we aware that color pervades nearly all aspects of life, from the subatomic realm and the natural world to hu In this beautiful and thorough investigation, The Secret Language of Color celebrates and illuminates the countless ways in which color colors our world. Why is the sky blue, the grass green, a rose red? Most of us have no idea how to answer these questions, nor are we aware that color pervades nearly all aspects of life, from the subatomic realm and the natural world to human culture and psychology. Organized into chapters that begin with a fascinating explanation of the physics and chemistry of color, The Secret Language of Color travels from outer space to Earth, from plants to animals to humans. In these chapters we learn about how and why we see color, the nature of rainbows, animals with color vision far superior and far inferior to our own, how our language influences the colors we see, and much more. Between these chapters, authors Joann Eckstut and Ariele Eckstut turn their attention to the individual hues of the visible spectrum?red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet?presenting each in fascinating, in-depth detail. Including hundreds of stunning photographs and dozens of informative, often entertaining graphics, every page is a breathtaking demonstration of color and its role in the world around us. Whether  you see red, are a shrinking violet, or talk a blue streak, this is the perfect book for anyone interested in the history, science, culture, and beatuty of color in the natural and man-made world.


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In this beautiful and thorough investigation, The Secret Language of Color celebrates and illuminates the countless ways in which color colors our world. Why is the sky blue, the grass green, a rose red? Most of us have no idea how to answer these questions, nor are we aware that color pervades nearly all aspects of life, from the subatomic realm and the natural world to hu In this beautiful and thorough investigation, The Secret Language of Color celebrates and illuminates the countless ways in which color colors our world. Why is the sky blue, the grass green, a rose red? Most of us have no idea how to answer these questions, nor are we aware that color pervades nearly all aspects of life, from the subatomic realm and the natural world to human culture and psychology. Organized into chapters that begin with a fascinating explanation of the physics and chemistry of color, The Secret Language of Color travels from outer space to Earth, from plants to animals to humans. In these chapters we learn about how and why we see color, the nature of rainbows, animals with color vision far superior and far inferior to our own, how our language influences the colors we see, and much more. Between these chapters, authors Joann Eckstut and Ariele Eckstut turn their attention to the individual hues of the visible spectrum?red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet?presenting each in fascinating, in-depth detail. Including hundreds of stunning photographs and dozens of informative, often entertaining graphics, every page is a breathtaking demonstration of color and its role in the world around us. Whether  you see red, are a shrinking violet, or talk a blue streak, this is the perfect book for anyone interested in the history, science, culture, and beatuty of color in the natural and man-made world.

30 review for Secret Language of Color: Science, Nature, History, Culture, Beauty of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet

  1. 5 out of 5

    Orsolya

    Our daily lives are surrounded by both vivid and dull hues, endless tones, and various shades. However, we take colors for granted. The mind-blowing part is that objects aren’t intrinsically ‘colored’. Once our brains interpret the wavelengths being reflected at us, then our environment is filled in with the massive Crayola box. So, it IS sort of a black and white world, afterall! Why do we see color? How does it work? These questions are answered by Joann Eckstut and Arielle Eckstut in, “The Se Our daily lives are surrounded by both vivid and dull hues, endless tones, and various shades. However, we take colors for granted. The mind-blowing part is that objects aren’t intrinsically ‘colored’. Once our brains interpret the wavelengths being reflected at us, then our environment is filled in with the massive Crayola box. So, it IS sort of a black and white world, afterall! Why do we see color? How does it work? These questions are answered by Joann Eckstut and Arielle Eckstut in, “The Secret World of Color: Science, Nature, Culture, Beauty of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Violet”. “The Secret World of Color” is a stunning coffee table book processing colorful, vivid, and glossy paged illustrations which certainly do colors justice. It is simply short of breath-taking (kudos to the designer and printer). Although the work targets all readers young and old; don’t expect a dummied down book aimed at a simpleton. “The Secret Life of Color” is much meatier than that. The work of Eckstut and Eckstut is divided into alternating chapters which focus on the science of color (physics, chemistry, astronomy, meteorology, biology, etc) along with that of a social/pop history of color. Admittedly, the science-filled sections are a bit overwhelming (and even a bit boring depending on your level of interest on the subject); but are still easier to understand and more exciting than your childhood school teachers once were. “The Secret Language of Color” is complete with a wealth of information and facts which are quite amazing and requisite conversation-starters. The text in “The Secret Language of Color” is supplemented by illustrations, charts, photos, graphs, and ‘fun’ experiments. Eckstut and Eckstut know the perfect ratio of academic explanation to casual text in order to engage the reader and make the information manageable and memorable. This results in the reader being truly effected: one will never view art, colors, nature or ANYTHING the same again after reading “The Secret Language of Color”. The highlight of “The Secret Language of Color” is Eckstut and Eckstut’s abilities to sound like experts in each and every topic they discuss. One would think they are geniuses. Yet, they don’t use the expertise to demean the reader and even toss in some humor here and there. On the contrary, however, the books feels a bit “all over the place” without a clear sense of a central point, clause, or thesis. The biggest flaw with “The Secret Language of Color” is the apparent lack of a strong editor. The text features spelling errors, graphic errors, and most notably: the repeat of an entire half page of text! This is a major ‘oops’! My copy was not an ARC copy, either. These don’t negatively affect the overall work too much, but they are still worth noting. The final chapters of “The Secret Language of Color” are much weaker in comparison to the former portions of the book. Feeling forced and repetitive; the conclusion bleeds into a similarly “meh” afterword. The small redemption is in the solid list of sources which encourages further research and reading. Despite imperfections, “The Secret Language of Color” is a delightful balance of color science with art which will please readers in many fields and professions. Not only is it (appropriately) eye candy to behold; but it teaches retainable and highly interesting facts which will literally change the reader’s perception of the world. “The Secret Language of Color” is recommended for both artists and scientists, even if just for scanning.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Online Eccentric Librarian

    More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ This is, without question, one of the best books I have ever read on the subject of color. Arielle Eckstut has created a content-rich book written in a friendly and conversational manner that makes so many of the very nebulous color concepts and theories readily understandable - even fascinating. The book is divided as follows: a first chapter that explains some of the misconceptions of color (e.g., Yellow/Blue/Red are More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ This is, without question, one of the best books I have ever read on the subject of color. Arielle Eckstut has created a content-rich book written in a friendly and conversational manner that makes so many of the very nebulous color concepts and theories readily understandable - even fascinating. The book is divided as follows: a first chapter that explains some of the misconceptions of color (e.g., Yellow/Blue/Red are not primary colors), explains the additive and subtractive colors, color wave lengths, and our history of understanding color. After, that, the main colors from Red to Violet are discussed. But not in a ponderous educational text sort of way; rather, the ways that colors have shaped our human history. From the Dukes of Orange to the royal purple, blue bloods, and Absinthe poisoning. The author has found some great anecdotes that explain so many color phrases that we use today (e.g., green eyed monster). In additional to the cultural history, there are whole sections devoted to nature: animals, plants, sky/celestial colors, etc. Every chapter is wonderfully illustrated - with photos, images, graphs - and beautifully laid out as well. My hat is off to the graphic designer of this book: there are so many sound principles in the design that make it such a pleasure and ease to read. Indeed, the book is graphic heavy, not text heavy, as befitting a book on color. There are many standouts to separate and cleanly explain certain concepts. This book is perfectly suited for the layman - no art or chemist background needed. For painters, graphic designers, photographers, etc....there is just so much information and yet it is easy to read and follow. I read the entire book cover to cover in under 3 hours and never once felt like I was reading a dry textbook. Yet it doesn't gloss over the important concepts in favor of pretty pictures, either. You do learn (and quite a bit) not only the technical side of color theory but also wonderful factoids of history as well. I can easily say this is one of the best books I've read this year. Informative, fun, interesting, conversational, fascinating, useful, and, yes, eye candy of color. Highly, highly, recommended. Obtained as an ARC from the publisher.

  3. 5 out of 5

    University of Chicago Magazine

    Arielle Eckstut, AB’92 Coauthor From our pages (Nov–Dec/13): "Joann Eckstut, a color consultant, and Arielle Eckstut, a member of the children’s committee of the Color Association of the United States, considered themselves color experts. They were proven wrong in researching their new book. They learned, for example, that grass is not green (the human brain perceives color differently than other animals). Exploring color through the lens of numerous academic disciplines, the authors were surprise Arielle Eckstut, AB’92 Coauthor From our pages (Nov–Dec/13): "Joann Eckstut, a color consultant, and Arielle Eckstut, a member of the children’s committee of the Color Association of the United States, considered themselves color experts. They were proven wrong in researching their new book. They learned, for example, that grass is not green (the human brain perceives color differently than other animals). Exploring color through the lens of numerous academic disciplines, the authors were surprised by its myriad influences on human life. In the process, they discovered that anyone claiming to be a color expert is wrong."

  4. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    "How can you have any pudding if ye don't eat yer meat?!" Just one example of the type of book that may have upset Neil Postman. It features gorgeous photography, sharp graphic design and editing, engaging charts and diagrams, factoids galore, and condenses various disciplines into a seamless, easily digestible read. The problem being that it is effectively parading as an educational textbook trying to make these disparate topics *FUN* by tying it together with the loose concept of color. It was "How can you have any pudding if ye don't eat yer meat?!" Just one example of the type of book that may have upset Neil Postman. It features gorgeous photography, sharp graphic design and editing, engaging charts and diagrams, factoids galore, and condenses various disciplines into a seamless, easily digestible read. The problem being that it is effectively parading as an educational textbook trying to make these disparate topics *FUN* by tying it together with the loose concept of color. It was likely conceived/structured the opposite way: "How should we fill a pretty book on colors?" Probably fun for the authors to put together. This is as good a representation of the showbiz culture as Buzzfeed. Reading it will make you feel good. You may retain some of the information within and think you learned something valuable without having to study its disciplinary environment. When returning to the material I myself struggled to accurately recall the reasons why color isn't real until it hits the eye. Even if I could repeat it verbatim, it's not discussion-worthy beyond casual connections. Ah, what's the use? This is not roughage. It's disposable; another consumer product to sit pretty on your shelf. Enjoy it or don't.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    Entertaining and slightly technical, I learned so much! I started fighting with the authors at first, because I thought that saying just because humans' eyes could not perceived color that there was not color. Once I got over that I so enjoyed learning about where each color came from, was produced, and what it meant. For instance, blue, yellow, and purple were all considered royal colors at one time. This was because those colors were so expensive, so only the very wealthy could afford them. We Entertaining and slightly technical, I learned so much! I started fighting with the authors at first, because I thought that saying just because humans' eyes could not perceived color that there was not color. Once I got over that I so enjoyed learning about where each color came from, was produced, and what it meant. For instance, blue, yellow, and purple were all considered royal colors at one time. This was because those colors were so expensive, so only the very wealthy could afford them. We can only see a few million colors, but birds can see ultra-violet light and, therefore, see things we do not. And a mantis shrimp...we cannot even imagine what they see, as they have so many more cones and rods than we do. Yep, it is scientific and fascinating. You might enjoy it, too!

  6. 5 out of 5

    M

    A great book with lots of vibrant photos of art, nature, and culture all highlighting the color around us. It will help you start thinking about colors differently and paying more attention to the ones you see around you. It's accessible (though I don't mean that in an insulting away) and touches on a great deal of subjects very briefly. The chapters are split up by the original Newtionian color scale (ROYGBIV), these chapters are intersected with parts of our earth and discussing the importance A great book with lots of vibrant photos of art, nature, and culture all highlighting the color around us. It will help you start thinking about colors differently and paying more attention to the ones you see around you. It's accessible (though I don't mean that in an insulting away) and touches on a great deal of subjects very briefly. The chapters are split up by the original Newtionian color scale (ROYGBIV), these chapters are intersected with parts of our earth and discussing the importance of color in each. The authors mentioned in the afterword that they would like to encourage a dialog between artists and color scientists. It had such a big impact on art in the Renaissance, then with the industrialization of dyes that link started to break. It would be nice to get more science classes and scientists involved with art programs (maybe one way to save them...) and see what can be produced from such a union.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Erika Mulvenna

    This book is fan-freaking-tastic! I've read many reviews who knocked this book down for being less than a scholarly text. But this book never claims to be a textbook, or all-encompassing volume on Color Theory. What this book does claim is to explore color more in-depth outside of the realm of the Artist's use of color with inks, dyes, paints, or other media. And it does do a fantastic job! With a section up front explaining the science of light, color, and how we experience it, the rest of the b This book is fan-freaking-tastic! I've read many reviews who knocked this book down for being less than a scholarly text. But this book never claims to be a textbook, or all-encompassing volume on Color Theory. What this book does claim is to explore color more in-depth outside of the realm of the Artist's use of color with inks, dyes, paints, or other media. And it does do a fantastic job! With a section up front explaining the science of light, color, and how we experience it, the rest of the book is like a coffee table volume full of little juicy tidbits about color. Great to flip open to a section and learn just a few new things about why the sky is blue, how bugs make the best natural red dye ever, or why plants evolved to be green. A great book to go along with any Color Theory study!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Soup

    ARC via NetGalley One of two color books I’ve recently read, and certainly the meatier of the pair. Lots of facts and information on all aspects of color from social to natural and technical to emotional. The content is easy to process and ‘chunked’ in a fashion that suggests a coffee table book although I’ve rarely seen a coffee table book quite this lengthy. It’s a solid win for factoid lovers, but those looking for an in depth discussion should either look elsewhere or use this book as a jumpi ARC via NetGalley One of two color books I’ve recently read, and certainly the meatier of the pair. Lots of facts and information on all aspects of color from social to natural and technical to emotional. The content is easy to process and ‘chunked’ in a fashion that suggests a coffee table book although I’ve rarely seen a coffee table book quite this lengthy. It’s a solid win for factoid lovers, but those looking for an in depth discussion should either look elsewhere or use this book as a jumping off point.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Judith

    Lovely book that is more interesting than what the cover indicates. I quickly read the sections on red, blue and violet and wanted to read more.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    Let's go ahead and say why I took off one star from my rating: This book needs another editor!! Either I was too enthralled to notice, or perhaps the first half of the book is written just fine, but by the latter third of the book I felt like I was noticing an error or confusing point every few pages. I spotted issues like entire paragraphs being duplicated (with the originally intended paragraph clearly missing, to my disappointment), confusing phrases such as "to the left" when the object in m Let's go ahead and say why I took off one star from my rating: This book needs another editor!! Either I was too enthralled to notice, or perhaps the first half of the book is written just fine, but by the latter third of the book I felt like I was noticing an error or confusing point every few pages. I spotted issues like entire paragraphs being duplicated (with the originally intended paragraph clearly missing, to my disappointment), confusing phrases such as "to the left" when the object in mind was printed on the right, and lines that were spaced so tightly that I am pretty certain there were no spaces between those words at all. Yes, sometimes words which should have been capitalized were not. Sometimes it was just an (ironically) poor color choice of text on a photo, making the text hard to read. Sometimes a phrase after a colon would not make good sense with the phrase before the colon (it should have been a new sentence altogether). Other times the subject at hand would switch mid-paragraph (signs of two drafts being merged, perhaps?). In other words, this wasn't just the problem of a typo here and there. These errors piled up and started giving me the sense that the authors were in a rush to finish the book and tired of reviewing the content. Despite that being said, I really loved this book! I was delightfully surprised to read a book about color which did not entirely focus on the art world. I learned so much about the science, history, culture, and quirks of color. I made so many new and exciting connections with the world around me. I really do feel as though my life is richer because of what I have learned while reading this. Despite the sloppy editing, I still highly recommend it!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Color. “The property possessed by an object of producing different sensations on the eye as a result of the way it reflects or emits light.” This book explains “Color” in scientific way and the combination of colrs, which can be used in art. Art have always been my hobby since I was little. And again, colors are big part of art. Colores can make things have different inpressions, and if you mix the colores, you can make thoughsants of colors. This book show you from how your eye works to see a c Color. “The property possessed by an object of producing different sensations on the eye as a result of the way it reflects or emits light.” This book explains “Color” in scientific way and the combination of colrs, which can be used in art. Art have always been my hobby since I was little. And again, colors are big part of art. Colores can make things have different inpressions, and if you mix the colores, you can make thoughsants of colors. This book show you from how your eye works to see a color, to a beutiful pictures that have the specific color. I could know more about color by reading this book, and so I can use this information in art or design. I recommend this book to the people who like art, and want to know more about color. It has a lot of information, so you can learn all about color by just reading this book!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Vicky

    This was a very beautiful book. The images and graphics were all very well done and, from a purely visual standpoint, it is one of the best books I have read. However, as someone who took optics in high school and have some prior experience with color theory, I found this book to be a little too basic. This was definitely a beginner book and very accessible to most people but for me, but it personally wasn't the right level for me. This was a very beautiful book. The images and graphics were all very well done and, from a purely visual standpoint, it is one of the best books I have read. However, as someone who took optics in high school and have some prior experience with color theory, I found this book to be a little too basic. This was definitely a beginner book and very accessible to most people but for me, but it personally wasn't the right level for me.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Starry

    Great concept and interesting facts about color. But I didn't enjoy it as much as my kids, because the writing is lackluster (compared to the excellent/entertaining science writing we've come to expect these day), and many of the graphic were poorly executed in that they didn't enhance or add to the text. Great concept and interesting facts about color. But I didn't enjoy it as much as my kids, because the writing is lackluster (compared to the excellent/entertaining science writing we've come to expect these day), and many of the graphic were poorly executed in that they didn't enhance or add to the text.

  14. 4 out of 5

    VeeDawn

    This book is done with hundreds of beautiful pictures, every page is a breathtaking demonstration of color and its role in the world around us. The history of each individual color is fascinating. However some of the science is already outdated, so it is a little weaker in that area.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kate Carmichael

    How many colors are there in the world? 100,000? 500,000? No. 10 million! This book is about the beautiful world of color which creates such a vivid experience in every day life. I will never look at the world the same way again!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Esther

    Making sense of the world surrounding us in colour coded lens. Information has very clear and engaging navigational layout merging nature/culture/science/history/perception/psychology/symbolic significance and so on for aspects of the colour spectrum that humans can perceive.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    This book covers a broad source of information about color and filled in some of my gaps in knowledge regarding color wheels and how we view color, electromagnetic waves. The human can see then million colors!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Luke

    Delves into how humans perceive color and how color has developed in the universe. I was expecting it to go into more color theory, but it was my fault for not reading the blurb / description properly. As a reference book about the science behind color, this is great.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Josh Url

    This is simply the coolest book I have read! Between beautiful pictures and a great discussion of the science and culture of color I enjoyed every moment! This is a must read for anyone interested in color.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    A lovely fun book for older homeschoolers and interested adults. I used it in my physics class to talk about visible light and it was quite handy.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Vasilis

    A pleasant introduction to colour

  22. 5 out of 5

    miscmarilyn

    This was more of a general overview about color and nature than I was expecting. This is a broad view of the subject. Some of the pictures were great.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Prejudice Neutrino

    Took much longer than anticipated, but boy was it worth it. Traversed all throughout time and ventured into the chemistry and physics about light. 10/10 will have to take the journey again.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jessie Brown

    Lots of fun bits of fact. This book teaches the science of color as well as our history with it. It's a quick read with a very visual book design. Lots of fun bits of fact. This book teaches the science of color as well as our history with it. It's a quick read with a very visual book design.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

    Colorful, informative, detailed. Just a pleasure to read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jody

    Such as interesting and beautiful book. Very well done.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Wow! What a stunning visual feast! The Secret Language of Color is an ambitious book that covers a variety of topics having to with colors including chemistry, nature, history, culture, art, people and more. From the beginning of the book: "Anyone who claims to be an expert on color is a liar. A true expert would have to be fluent in physics, chemistry, astronomy, optics, neuroscience, geology, botany, zoology, human biology, linguistics, sociology, anthropology, art history, and cartography; and the Wow! What a stunning visual feast! The Secret Language of Color is an ambitious book that covers a variety of topics having to with colors including chemistry, nature, history, culture, art, people and more. From the beginning of the book: "Anyone who claims to be an expert on color is a liar. A true expert would have to be fluent in physics, chemistry, astronomy, optics, neuroscience, geology, botany, zoology, human biology, linguistics, sociology, anthropology, art history, and cartography; and the list goes on and on. We thought we were color experts before we wrote this book, but we were brought to our senses by the breadth and depth of the material. Now we like to describe ourselves as color tourists who traveled the world of color--its jungles, deserts, cities, forests, rural villages, seas, monuments, and museums--and made it back alive. Along the way, we collected our favorite things. Perhaps the most important thing we learned in our travels, the thing that explains why color is so omnipresent in our lives is this: more than 80 percent of the activity in the neocortex (the part of our brain that deals with everything from language to movement to problem solving) comes via our eyes. The vast majority of information we process from the outside world is visual. And everything we see is colored. ...Whether you see red, are a shrinking violet, are green with envy, talk a blue streak, or are in a black mood, we hope that our book will celebrate, illuminate, and paint a colorful picture of this amazing force of nature." The first chapter delves into the perception of color and the physics and chemistry behind color with discoveries by Newton, electromagnetism, a discussion on what constitutes the REAL primary colors, how your brain interprets colors, optical illusions and more. After that, each successive chapter focuses on a single particular color and wends along a twisting path of color lore, facts and a plethora of stunning photographs, illustrations that make each page an absolute delight. The first part of the book is a little less accessible, but the sections on each color are easier reads. Layouts make material easy to skim but don't be surprised if you get sucked in and spend a lot more time perusing the multitude of facts. This is a BEAUTIFUL book and even the youngest reader would enjoy gaping at the pages, even if the text is beyond his abilities, while older students and adults will enjoy learning all sorts of color related trivia like this fact about yellow highlighters (from the chapter about the color yellow): "If you're convinced that your highlighter helped you get through school, you might be right. When you read a highlighted section of text, the visual system in your brain interacts with the language system, and the greater the number of distinct brain circuits that are active while studying, the more likely you'll remember what you read." There are full page spreads, sidebar boxes and well designed layouts that illustrate and inform. It reminds me a lot of the book: The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray. It's a book that's meant to be browsed and every page screams, "Look at me!". Highly recommended for all ages, especially middle schoolers through adults.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    I've read two different books dealing with color over the past few months - this one and ROY G. BIV: An Exceedingly Surprising Book About Color by Jude Stewart back in October. I don't remember how I found that one, but this book was featured on NPR's Morning Edition back in early November. I checked both out of the local library - I'd recommend reading the dead tree version vs an ebook, unless you have a color tablet (would be a bit silly to read about about colors on a black & white device, no I've read two different books dealing with color over the past few months - this one and ROY G. BIV: An Exceedingly Surprising Book About Color by Jude Stewart back in October. I don't remember how I found that one, but this book was featured on NPR's Morning Edition back in early November. I checked both out of the local library - I'd recommend reading the dead tree version vs an ebook, unless you have a color tablet (would be a bit silly to read about about colors on a black & white device, no?) Both books delve into the world of color from a sociological as well as scientific standpoint. They discussed the subtractive vs additive color methods, with subtractive being used with pigment and additive with light, as well as the historical discoveries that lead to these theories. The Eckstuts (and perhaps Stewart - to be honest, both books are kind of blending together in my mind at this point) also spent some time talking about dyes - how natural dyes like tyrian purple and cochineal have given way to artificial dyes (Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World is now on my ToRead list, thanks to this section). On the sociological side, sumptuary laws, colors as metaphors as well as the order in which color words are added to a language are all topics covered in these books. I found them both informative and engaging, but noticed a bit of a UK slant to the Eckstuts' writing - while the US spelling of "color" and other "or/our" words was used, they mention sunflowers being most associated with southern France (while I would think of Kansas, or at least the Plains states) and there were one or two other phrases or terms that felt UK-centric. I also spotted some typos in this book - at one point a paragraph went missing from one page, only to be repeated twice on the next page. They both came out within a month of one another, Stewart's in Sep 2013 and this in October, so they may have been rushing to the presses. Nevertheless, I enjoyed both books and would recommend them as at least a library read to anyone with a general interest in the history, culture and/or science of color.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nathaniel McKellar

    Nathaniel Mckellar B4 BR#5 “The Secret Language of Color” by Joann and Arielle Eckstut is a 240 page book on not only the basics of color but, as said on page 232, also the “Science, Nature, History, Culture, and Beauty of color.” The tone of the book is very informative, yet it is not boring either. It is amazing that you can fit this much information into a book without making it seem tedious and dull. On page 193 it says,”Although not every blue food is poisonous-blueberries being a case in poi Nathaniel Mckellar B4 BR#5 “The Secret Language of Color” by Joann and Arielle Eckstut is a 240 page book on not only the basics of color but, as said on page 232, also the “Science, Nature, History, Culture, and Beauty of color.” The tone of the book is very informative, yet it is not boring either. It is amazing that you can fit this much information into a book without making it seem tedious and dull. On page 193 it says,”Although not every blue food is poisonous-blueberries being a case in point-some like the mushroom psilocybin, are psychedelic. Foragers beware (unless you intend to make a magical mushroom trip): It’s stems are stained blue.” The authors often stick these little quirks to break from the usual monotone stammering of most non-fiction books. I’ve learned a ton from this book. This book also has a good theme. The authors are constantly reminding us that color is a lot more complex than we think and includes a much broader spectrum than just art. On page 8 it says,”Anyone who claims to be an expert on color is a liar. A true expert would have to be fluent in physics, chemistry, astronomy, optics, neuroscience, geology, botany, zoology, human biology, linguistics, sociology, anthropology, art history, and cartography; and the list goes on and on.” This theme continues through the majority of the book. “The Secret Language of Color” is a great book and I recommend it to artists and scientists alike. Color is everywhere and I believe we should all have a better understanding of it. With that in mind, I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Dixon

    This sumptuous book has given me hours of lingering pleasure over the last month. It does everything its somewhat clunky subtitle says it will and gives the reader an information-rich and lavishly illustrated volume that tells and shows you everything you have always wanted to know about colour and how it works. I daresay the subtitle was necessary. If I'd read a title saying simply "The Secret Language of Colour" I might have expected something like The Secret Language of Life: How Animals and P This sumptuous book has given me hours of lingering pleasure over the last month. It does everything its somewhat clunky subtitle says it will and gives the reader an information-rich and lavishly illustrated volume that tells and shows you everything you have always wanted to know about colour and how it works. I daresay the subtitle was necessary. If I'd read a title saying simply "The Secret Language of Colour" I might have expected something like The Secret Language of Life: How Animals and Plants Feel and Communicate or The Secret Language of Flowers or "The Secret Life of [somebody or something]" and I might have thought, "bleh", or words to that effect. Instead, I raised my eyebrows slightly but was intrigued and flicked through the pages. And yes, I then ordered a copy from the library. It really is a richly beautiful book, and is chockablock full of fascinating scientific information. Don't try to read it in one sitting, but do take the time to read it (and not simply glance through as one does with so many gorgeous coffee-table books). It's well worth it!

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